Recycling/upcycling window shutters

April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Nothing has suffered more in my month-long funk than my house. Laundry is still on the clothesline, bedsheets have been used to cover sofas because I’m too lazy to look for my throws, and my sewing materials are all crammed on top of a table the bunny can’t reach. One of the priorities in my getting-back-to-reality program is to reorganize/redecorate the house, so it’s back to the net to look for inspiration.

I’ve always loved old-school wooden window shutters. Unfortunately, where I come from and where I am they’re considered antiques and get quite pricey. Still, I love the idea of having them all over the house, or even having a full wall of them. If you’re lucky enough to be in one of those places where you can find window shutters lying about, please check out this list of things you can do with them to brighten up your home from scraphacker.

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Drapey cardigan

February 22, 2012 § 4 Comments

As I promised myself, this week is going to be garment making week. Most importantly, Make Lee Something Warm to Wear That is Not a Blazer week. I found so many great ideas on the web that didn’t mean me having to copy patterns carefully or measuring myself (I so love you, online crafting family!). I finally settled on four must-do projects by Tuesday.

For the first one, I was so excited by this drape cardigan from Urban Threads and realized I had just the stuff for it. You can check out the original tutorial here. I wasn’t supposed to start posting stuff I made this week till Friday but I was so happy with how this came out that I just had to post it now.

This is the first project I spent zero on. I had two old shirts that I loved for softness but never quite fit me right. A friend gave me a fabric panel even though I have no clue about quilting. And even the yarn I will use later on was a surprise gift from my favorite craft store. So I just followed the instructions for prepping and sewing the cardigan together as shown in the link above. And ended up with this:

I now realize you don’t see the drapeyness clearly but you’ll get the picture 😀 I was too excited to put on my fabric panel. The original idea was to machine embroider a design on the back of the cardigan but machine embroidery is a skill I’ve yet to learn. So enter this beautiful fabric panel I had no idea what to do with.

This is a huge panel, about a yard I think. But the real focal point (and most beautiful part) were the Kamakura Sisters. So I cut that out to fit the back of my “new” cardi and pinned in place.

So I visited my favorite (actually, the only one in Dubai) craft shop just as they were celebrating their birthday. I got to pop a balloon and discover a “prize.” I got a bag of blue yarn, yay. Except I don’t knit. Then I thought of this project and there was my yarn, perfect for handstitching my fabric patch on the cardi. I would probably have done this in a contrasting color, like red, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Now cut out the design as close to the stitching as you dare and artfully fray the edges. Or do like me and just fray, in keeping with the raw, handmade look of the whole cardigan. And you’re done! First project I did in just an hour and had me feeling like a rockstar instantly!

Love, love, love. And yes, I was actually distracted by something on TV when the camera went off. And here’s the back.

Yay! Now off to Garment Project No. 2 😀

Manly travel power cord roll-up

February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

One of the things I love about surfing through crafting sites is the many ideas you get from what people do and the many techniques you get to add to your arsenal. Take this simple roll-up, for example. I love the design of it and I think with the right choice of fabric and embellishments you could take this from manly functionality to a girly-girl clutch. Something I definitely want to explore. Thanks to Whipstitch for the How-to. And yes, you can finally use that pair of trousers the man in your life refuses to wear.

If you can’t make over your life, at least have beautiful shoes

February 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hello crafty friends and fellow gawkers 🙂 Yes, I am still alive and well. No, I have not been slacking off. Me and my sewing machine were having a tiff all week. She kept spitting our loose bottom stitches at me and I tried wooing her by giving her fresh new needles, trying out all kinds of thread and fabric combinations. All to no avail. I finally decided enough is enough and it was time to show her who’s boss around here. I opened her up, gave her a thorough cleaning and now we have a truce of sorts. She only gives me proper stitches when I do zigzags. Women, go figure. Anyhoo, I did manage to get a few things done. Will post pics of them as soon as their new homes receive them. In the meantime my other life as a writer and editor have finally given me enough space to go back to gawking at what other people have the talent to do. First off, SHOES! Best thing is I won’t have to bother my sewing machine for these makeovers. Second best thing, my sadly neglected shoe closet will get an update. Desiree over at The 36th Avenue has so wonderfully combined a linky of all the fab stuff you can do with your old shoes. Check it out here.

Grocery bag . . . well, bag

February 8, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’m on the fence with this one. I like the concept of recycling plastic bags and I admire the patience of crocheting it to make it something else, but . . . I think it’s because it doesn’t really become something else? Just a better-looking bag? In any case, I still love the eco-friendly effort, even though the last thing I crocheted was a friend’s dreadlocks. Have a look over at Plasticbagbag.com and maybe we can come up with some other way to recycle grocery bags.

MiuMiu-inspired shoe DIY

January 29, 2012 § 3 Comments

Yep, there’s my new slogan. Although to be honest, when you are a beginner crafter there is quite a bit of buying involved, unless of course you’re way more hardcore than me and willing to wing it with just a needle, thread and some glue. From scissors to a cutting mat, it is a good idea to spend a bit on your equipment and then DIY to your heart’s content on things you’ve found, sale booty or items you already have and are willing to recycle, upcycle, or refashion. You also, of course, do manage to build up a stash of fabric, felt, paper and other items you think you’ll be crafting with (case in point, my 5-month old unopened bag of mosaic tiles) along the way. Here’s where investing in a glue gun early on can help, you can find tutes like this one and immediately update your wardrobe. You can even make a clutch with the same technique to match. How-to make this cutie from where else? Chic Steals.

Snuggie footies

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

As a couch potato, anything that can keep me snug and warm while I launch into full season marathons of my favorite TV shows is a godsend. I was about to give in and buy a pair of these from H&M but here they are and all you need are an old sweater, flats you don’t wear anyway, a glue gun and some panache. Thanks for the tutorial urbanthreads!

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